King Cesar: Hernandez hits walk-off single for 4–3 Tribe Victory
After falling behind the Chicago White Sox and into a tie for second place in the AL Central with the Minnesota Twins Friday night, the Cleveland Indians turned to Aaron Civale to help deliver a win following the previous night’s beatdown.
In a back and forth battle throughout the night, the Indians walked off on a Cesar Hernandez RBI single to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4–3.
Civale put together a much needed outing for a floundering offense, going six strong innings, giving up five hits, three walks, and two earned runs with six strikeouts on 100 pitches. He didn’t factor into the decision
Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff was equally impressive before his fifth inning train wreck, going 4 ⅓ innings, giving up four hits, three walks and three earned runs to go with seven strikeouts on 94 pitches.
The Brewers Keston Hiura scored on an RBI Double in the 4th by Dan Vogelbach.
However, the Indians countered in the fifth. After Oscar Mercado reached base in the fifth inning with one out, Cesar Hernandez drove a ball to deep left center and to the wall that scored Mercado from first base.
Then on a 1–2 pitch during the next at-bat, Jose Ramirez smashed a home run 353 feet to right field, with the ball just out of the reach of longtime Brewer Ryan Braun, stretching the Indians lead to 3–1.
However, Hiura again posed a problem in the sixth, as he hit a 360-foot no-doubter to the right field seats in the sixth on an 0–2 count to pull within a run. After Christian Yelich grounded out, Ryan Braun tripled to deep right-center on a ball that nearly left the yard.
Later in the inning, Civale loaded the bases with a walk before inducing a force play at second to escape a big jam.
The Brewers again threatened to tie it up in the seventh against newly-acquired pitcher Cal Quantrill with two outs in the inning with the bases loaded. Nick Wittgren was summoned from the bullpen and promptly struck out Vogelbach to again wriggle the team out of a sticky situation.
The Brewers would not go quietly though, as Orlando Arcia rocketed a 387-foot blast to the left field bleachers in the eighth inning off of Wittgren to knot up the score. He recorded three straight outs to end the inning.
To continue a theme of the bullpen struggling the last few days, closer Brad Hand came in to pitch the top of the ninth and had runners at the corners with one down before striking out Ryan Braun and pinch hitter Mark Mathias hit into a pop-up to Santana.
In the bottom half of the ninth, all-star super-reliever Josh Hader came in, having not given up a hit the entire 2020 campaign.
That hitless streak ended with a leadoff double by Mercado. Hader then threw a wild pitch immediately following the double, allowing Mercado to advance to third.
Cesar Hernandez then delivered the final blow with the single up the gap between third and short to end the game.
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Entering Saturday’s contest, the Indians had a 9–8 record at home compared to a 14–7 record on the road.
Over their next 21 games, 12 will be played at home and nine contests will be on the road.